There is nothing better than deep-dish pizza, especially when it’s homemade!  I love the fresh marinara sauce, fresh herbs, mounds of melted cheese, soft dough, and plethora of toppings.  It’s one of those meals you crave because you probably only have it 1-2 times each year and it’s most likely when you’re traveling to a city known for deep-dish pizza…  Well, you’re in luck!  I want to share my recipe for Homemade Cast-Iron Deep-Dish Pizza with you.

The recipe can be found here.

The dough is Chicago-style, meaning it not only covers the bottom of the pan but also stretches up the sides of the pan.  The dough isn’t overly complicated to make, but does need time to proof and rise, so plan for additional time.  It’ll be worth it!  The crust is layered with cheese and other toppings first – the sauce goes in last.  This is very important because it helps the crust say crispy and not get overly soggy with the liquid from the sauce.  It might feel like you are eating an upside-down pizza but when made correctly, deep-dish pizzas can be life changing 😊 Let’s walk through making the pizza.

The recipe can be found here.

Start by making the dough.  Add the yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add ¼ cup warm water and swirl to combine.  You don’t need to stir, just give the bowl a good swirl.  Let this sit for 10 minutes.  Foam should start to develop.

Add the remaining ½ cup water, 2 Tbsp oil, and 1 ½ tsp salt.  Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on low speed.  Slowly add 2 cups of bread flour.  You want to use bread flour because it has a higher gluten content and will result in a stretchy dough (less likely to tear).  Mix until the dough is well combined, then continue to knead for an additional 5 minutes.  Add additional water if needed, about ½ tsp at a time, until all ingredients are incorporated.  The dough should be sticky but firm enough to pick up.  If you add too much water the dough will be very sticky (hence only added ½ tsp at a time) and you might need to add more flour to obtain the right consistency.

Drizzle olive oil around the side of the stand mixer bowl then rotate the dough to coat in oil.  You don’t need much oil – a little goes a long way!

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and place the bowl in a warm area to let the dough rise.  You want the dough to double in size and this should take about 2 hours.  If your house is warm, the dough should double in size in a shorter amount of time, so I recommend checking it after about 1 hour.

Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place it on a floured surface.  Cut the dough in half and form each half into a round ball.  This recipe makes TWO 12 to 14-inch pizza crusts.  If you are only making one pizza, you can wrap one piece of dough in plastic wrap and freeze to use at a later date.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into one 14-inch circle.  You want the dough to be rolled out slightly larger than the skillet.  This is so you have dough to press along the sides of the pan and not just cover the bottom.  This recipe is for one pizza, so I did freeze the other half of the dough.

Brush your cast-iron skillet with olive oil then add cornmeal.  I have gone overboard with the cornmeal before so make sure to cover the bottom with a thin layer, not a thick layer.  Otherwise, you will be scraping cornmeal off the bottom of your pizza before each bite 😊

Place the crust in the skillet and press down gently around the bottom and sides of the skillet.  Set the skillet aside while you prepare the sauce.  You can use store-bought sauce but homemade sauce tastes so much better, if you have time to make it.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Move an oven rack to the lowest position.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft and translucent.

Add the entire can of crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and 1 tsp salt.  Stir to combine.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Spread the shredded cheese (or you can use sliced) in an even later over the crust.

Top with the toppings of your choice.  I like to use pepperoni and green pepper, but you can use sausage, Canadian bacon, olives, pineapple, mushrooms, etc.  Anything goes!  BUT, if you are using sausage or another meat, make sure it is precooked.  The pizza won’t be baking long enough for the meat to cook through, just warm through.

Pour the sauce over the top and spread to the sides.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center is heated through.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle parmesan cheese generously over the top.  Add fresh parsley or basil and let sit for about 5 minutes to firm up.  Then slice and serve warm.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

SO GOOD!  If you are craving a good deep-dish pizza this recipe is worth trying.  We’ve only made it a few times but tend to switch up the ingredients every time so we can play around with different flavor combinations and vote on which is our favorite.  The pizza also refrigerates well and makes great leftovers.  It is a lot of sauce so this might not be a recipe you want to eat cold for breakfast the next day but a quick nuke in the microwave and you have a tasty breakfast, lol!

Happy Cooking!

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